To the Goddess named --- Venus (and Ceres)
- Where the satyrs are chattering, nymphs in their flattering
- Glimpse of the forest enhance
- All the beauty of marrow and cucumber narrow
- And Ceres will join in the dance.
- Where the satyrs can flatter the flat-leaved fruit
- And the gherkin green and the marrow,
- Said Queen Venus, 'Silenus, we'll settle between us
- The gourd and the cucumber narrow.'
- See, like palaces hid in the lake, they shake --
- Those green houses shot by Her arrow narrow!
- The gardener seizes the pieces like Croesus for gilding the
- potting-shed barrow.
- There the radish roots
- And the strawberry fruits
- Feel the nymphs' high boots in the glade.
- Trampling and sampling mazurkas, cachucas and turkas,
- Cracoviaks hid in the shade.
- Where in the haycocks the country nymphs' gay flocks
- Wear gowns that are looped over bright yellow petticoats,
- Gaiters of leather and pheasants' tail feathers
- In straw hats bewildering many a leathern bat.
- There they haymake
- Cowers and whines in showers
- The dew in the dogskin bright flowers;
- Pumpkin and marrow
- And cucumber narrow
- Have grown through the spangled June hours.
- Melons as dark as caves have for their fountain waves
- Thickest gold honey. And wrinkled as dark as Pan
- Or old Silenus, yet youthful as Venus
- Are gourds and the wrinkled figs
- Whence all the jewels ran.
- Said Queen Venus, 'Silenus,
- We'll settle between us
- The nymphs' disobedience, forestall
- With my bow and my quiver
- Each fresh evil liver:
For I don't understand it at all!'
Tarantella from "Façade" by Edith Sitwell
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